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Old 02-24-2011, 02:13 PM   #3
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Travels with Gumby
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Kelowna, BC
Oddometer: 241
Day 2 August 2nd 2010

We topped up our fuel at Clark Fork, crossed the Clark Fork River and headed southeast on River Rd. From there we got our first taste of gravel heading south on Dry Creek Rd. As relative dirt-riding noobs we were a bit apprehensive of our fully loaded bikes on the mountain roads. Any concerns evaporated quickly as we climbed high into the mountains. The road was in good condition and our bikes were handling great.

We were soon clipping along enjoying the scenery and the good roads. After climbing out of the valley, Dry Creek Rd winds along near the ridge top. We had a nice dry day but it was pretty hazy. We weren’t sure if it was smoke in the air but we couldn’t see any fires close by.

Most intersections were well signed but the names on the signs didn’t always match the road names on the GPS. At times like this, having the route pre-mapped took the guess work out of which way to go. At Buckskin Saddle the road forks several times. We headed down Buckskin Creek Road.

This area was riddled with streams. The roads and bridges are well maintained. This one was across Buckskin Creek.

We crossed the North Fork of the Coeur D’Alene River and began climbing again up and over Independence Creek Rd. I was feeling pretty comfortable on the KLR by now, but I would have to adjust the bar position in order to get comfortable standing on the pegs.

Adrian cruising along on Independence Creek Rd.

At the bottom of the hill we came to Independence Creek and a turn onto Teepee Creek Road. We were spreading out on the roads to keep out of each other’s dust so whenever we came to an intersection we would stop and regroup.

I seem to have a lot of photos of Adrian. I guess that makes sense since he was the only one without a camera. Here he is again on Teepee Creek Rd.

We hit a stretch of pavement and rolled into the town of Murray. It was time for lunch at the Spragpole Inn and Museum. I had been here about 8 years ago and wanted to show the place to the others. All the buildings in the photo below are interconnected inside and contain an amazing collection of “stuff”. Everything from bottles, plates, guns, mining equipment and just about anything else you can think of was collected here by one man over his lifetime. All of this is on display and free. One could easily kill a couple of hours here.

The old post office in Murray is still in operation.

Right at the outskirts of Murray is the entrance to Kings Pass Rd. The sign describes it well which is a good thing as I was too busy enjoying it to take any other pictures.

Kings Pass Rd is a short climb up and over the mountain that avoids some pavement and meets up with Beaver Creek Rd. We followed Beaver Creek Rd down to a gas stop in Wallace. It had great pavement, lots of twisties and absolutely no traffic on this stretch. This was real bonus of this type of travel as on previous trips we would miss these great paved sections on the street bikes. The dual-purpose bikes allowed us to connect some great areas.

We left the Interstate Hwy and Wallace behind us and headed south on Placer Creek Rd.

Placer Creek Rd crosses Moon Pass at 4900’ before becoming Moon Pass Road and descending to the N. Fork St. Joe River.

Moon Pass Rd follows an old rail road grad for several miles. The Rail Road continued east over St Pauls pass and served various mining communities. The rails have been removed and the road paved through the tunnels and over the bridges. The rest is still gravel. We passed through nine tunnels and crossed several bridges and followed the N. Fork St. Joe River south to Avery.

This is one heck of a bridge for an old abandoned rail grade.

Below the bridge is the river and an alternate route alongside.

And more tunnels.

We stopped in Avery at the General Store for Ice Cream around 5PM.

My original plan was to head south from here to Elk River but we had overestimated the distances we would travel each day. We were poking along enjoying the ride and making many photo stops. We didn’t think we would make it anywhere close to Elk River by dark so we opted to follow the pavement down the St. Joe River to St. Maries. It was a good decision as it was a very nice ride along the river.

We checked into the Pines Motel in St. Maries, ate dinner and went to bed early. (After some evening libations of course.)

The day’s route and stats:

More to come.


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